Trump knew about Stormy Daniels payment months before denial: report

President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE was aware of a six-figure hush money payment to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels months before he denied knowing about the transaction, The New York Times reported Friday, citing people familiar with the arrangement.

When exactly Trump learned of the payment is unclear. But, according to the Times, Trump knew when he denied knowledge of the payment to reporters in April that his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, had succeeded in silencing Daniels's allegations that she had an affair with the president in 2006.

Questions surfaced once again this week about when Trump became aware of the payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said that the president had reimbursed Cohen for the payment.


That directly contradicted Trump's own claims about the transaction, which he previously denied knowing anything about while speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on April 5.

Giuliani also said that Trump reimbursed Cohen $460,000 or $470,000 — much more than the $130,000 Cohen has acknowledged he paid to Daniels. One person familiar with the agreement told the Times that the payment amounted to $420,000 over 12 months.

The payment was part of a 2016 nondisclosure agreement intended to keep Daniels from going public with allegations that she had an affair with Trump in 2006, just months after his wife Melania TrumpMelania TrumpJill Biden picks up where she left off The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden navigates pressures from Dems Former first lady launches 'Office of Melania Trump' MORE gave birth to their son.

Daniels is currently suing to void that nondisclosure agreement.

Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels. He acknowledged in a tweet on Thursday that he reimbursed Cohen, but insisted that the arrangement was only made to protect his family and that none of the money was tied to his presidential campaign.

Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg knew since last year that Cohen was being reimbursed for the payment in the form of a $35,000 monthly retainer, the Times reported. 

The money came from the trust that holds Trump's personal fortune, according to the Times.